Plus - Letters to the Editor

Monks guilty of the desire for political power

A number of Buddhist monks submitted nomination papers for this week’s local government elections. They want political power. They desire the fruits of gainful emancipation. The monks too have become victims of desire (thanha).

On entering the Sasana, the Buddhist monk is expected to abandon all desire for comforts and wealth. The Lord Buddha would never have dreamt that his disciples in robes would become administrators or executives of government. He forbade monks from handling money and living a life of luxury.

When misguided monks enter the rat race of politics, the Buddha Sasana suffers. This is an unpardonable lapse. If we remain silent, this unhealthy trend could grow to monstrous proportions.

It is very surprising that the Nayaka Theras and lay citizens are so silent on this matter. This is something that demands the serious attention of the leaders of all political parties.

Why does the Election Commissioner accept nominations from Buddhist monks?

Leena Gunaratne, Piliyandala

The World Cup is a global tournament that should expand, not shrink

There is speculation that the ICC intends to field only 10 countries at the next World Cup. It is our guess that Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands and Kenya will be eliminated. Should this happen, the game of cricket in general and the World Cup in particular will suffer.

We proudly call it “The World Cup”, although only 14 out of more than 190 countries around the world participate in the international tournament. As it is, “World Cup” is a misnomer. With only 10 countries participating, can it be called the World Cup?

Will the next World Cup see teams like Canada (above) and Netherlands (below) out of it?

Presumably, the ICC considers four countries “not up to standard” or underperformers. The 10 Test playing countries did not reach their high standard overnight. It took them years – hundreds of games and thousands of practice hours – to gain the experience they have. England and Australia have played cricket for more than a century. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh had to wait a long while to gain Test status. But today they play in the World Cup, and they perform brilliantly. How did they achieve this?

The ICC was responsible. The ICC gave these teams the opportunity to play numerous matches with experienced teams such as England and Australia. And Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were eventually ready to play in the World Cup.

The four countries earmarked for elimination are, like the present 10 Test-playing nations, very enthusiastic and have a great interest in playing cricket. They have their own national teams and they look forward to playing with other cricket-playing nations, and in the World Cup.

The ICC should expose these four countries to more international cricket, and bring them into the family of World Cup-playing nations. To eliminate these four countries would be unreasonable and most unsporting. If the ICC have their way, we can expect to see the same 10 nations playing against each other forever.

Cricket has become commercialised, with high stakes. The ICC probably think these four “underperformers” are not drawing enough spectators, and that it is a waste of time arranging World Cup matches for them.

Meanwhile, the experienced teams have been honing their game and upping their run rate playing with the underperforming teams.

There should be 14 teams playing the World Cup, and later 15, 16 and so on. The more teams, the merrier. Only then would it be a true “World” Cup.

B. Joseph, Hendala, Wattala

Dehiwela pavements a pain to walk on

Priority should be given to widening pavements on either side of the flyover

The pavements between the shops and streams of traffic on either side of the Dehiwela flyover are very narrow. There is not enough room for four people to walk abreast.

Top priority should have been given to widening the pavement and putting up protective steel railings.

Further, the unprotected pavement has an unfinished surface, with unevenly placed concrete slabs. This is a big problem for senior citizens and pensioners walking along these pavements.

The north side (seaside) of the roundabout is a total mess at peak hours, and a headache for the poor traffic police.

Another problem is the use of the roundabout pedestrian crossing as a bus-stand for buses travelling south from Mt. Lavinia to Colombo. A simple solution would be to move the present bus halt a few paces to the YMBA area.

W. Meadows, Dehiwela

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